Abeer opens DIP
Abeer Bakdounes (39) from Syria is becoming an entrepreneur in her new home and will be supplying Villach with sweet delicacies from all over the world from 21 August.
A hard path to a new, foreign homeland
Just a few years ago, Abeer Bakdounes (39) would never have imagined that she would hang up a company sign with her name on it in a faraway country. She supported her husband Hussam (52) as office manager in his company in Syria, which produced textiles for the European market. Hussam employed more than 200 people in his textile factory and the attached trading company. As the situation worsened due to the war, the young family decided to flee the country in August 2015 - if only for the safety of their then 6-year-old son.
An arduous flight finally led the Bakdounes family to Austria. In September 2017, they arrived in the Drau town of Villach, which became a new home.
In the past four years, Abeer, Hussam and their now 12-year-old son Wessam have not only been able to integrate very well, but also had to realise with melancholy that a return to Syria will probably never be possible. "All that is left of our home and the business is rubble. Everything has been destroyed, and there is no end to the war."
But the energetic woman with the gentle smile accepted the chance for a new life and decided to open a small restaurant on the corner of Bahnhofstraße and Klagenfurter Straße: dip and more. The new address for Ice Cream Rolls, Bubble Waffles, Crêpes and
Arabic desserts in Villach.
Self-employment as the supreme discipline of integration
If you ask Abeer why she is taking on the hard path of self-employment, you quickly recognise the young woman's fighting spirit. "Our great wish is to live independently, without having to rely on support. We have always been used to taking care of ourselves."
In addition, she is driven by another motivation: "This is also our way of saying thank you. We found a good welcome in Austria, now we want to give something back and support the education and health system," she explains with enthusiasm.
Sweet delicacies from all over the world
Abeer wants to create a place with an international atmosphere for people with refined tastes in her shop at Bahnhofstraße 10. However, it is not all about bubble waffles, ice cream rolls and crêpes: "I can especially recommend our baklava and the other Syrian sweets. Syria is known throughout the Arab world for its sweets, which are very different from the Turkish versions: less sugary syrup, but tastier with high-quality ingredients."
One special ingredient is the pistachio - after all, Syria was one of the biggest pistachio exporters in the world before the war. And Abeer wants to bring a speciality to Carinthia for this purpose: "When I think back to my old home country, I especially miss Syrian pistachio ice cream: cream ice cream with special ingredients and chopped pistachios. I'm looking forward to being able to offer this speciality in Villach now."
Villach can also look forward to the latest trend from Asia: Ice Cream Rolls. The ice cream is freshly prepared on an ice-cold plate in front of the customer and scraped off with a spatula - forming rolls that are served in a cup with various toppings. Coffee lovers will find a wide variety of coffee-to-go on their way between the station and the city centre. The operators of dip and more are aware of their responsibility for all products: "For example, we only use fresh organic eggs from the region. With the other ingredients, too, we focus on regionality and sustainability whenever possible, and we also offer vegan ice cream." All the delicacies can be taken away - coffee also in your own cup - as well as enjoyed in the small restaurant.
Dip and more opens on 21 August 2021.
Dip and more
(corner of Bahnhofstraße / Klagenfurter Straße)